San José, Jul 20 (elmundo.cr) – Dialogue between actors from the public and private sectors, academia and non-governmental organizations will allow the identification of the main opportunities and challenges facing Costa Rica to optimize food donation processes and reduce waste.
“The loss and waste of food limits the sustainability of food systems, since it implies a waste of natural, productive and nutritional resources. Therefore, addressing this problem from the perspective of food donation and redistribution creates the opportunity to manage surpluses more responsibly and takes a further step towards food security; and it is precisely about all these aspects that we wish to talk in this Independent Dialogue, ”commented Laura Brenes Peralta, coordinator of the Costa Rican Network for the Reduction of Food Loss and Waste.
In addition, key aspects such as the identification of beneficiary populations and their nutritional needs, food safety, the nutritional quality of donated food, national mechanisms for donation, the use of technologies and the public policies necessary to promote this will be discussed. method of reducing food waste and alleviating hunger.
“For Costa Rican society, mainly for social organizations such as the Food Bank and corporate food producers, it is vitally important to know the regulatory framework that exists in the country, which defines the food donation process, as well as the benefits supporting it from a social investment perspective. This would make it possible to increasingly favor a larger volume of the vulnerable population. In this process of dialogue, it is essential to achieve a clear food donation proposal that will be presented at the Summit next September, ”said Francia Linares, executive director of the Food Bank of Costa Rica.
This dialogue is organized by the Costa Rican Network for the Reduction of Food Loss and Waste and the Food Bank of Costa Rica; In addition, it has the support of the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) of the Harvard Law School, the United Nations System, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC).
The inputs on priorities, actions, and the feasible and achievable progress of the food donation efforts generated in the Independent Dialogue will be presented in September at the Food Systems Summit, convened by Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations. Additionally, they will add to the advancement of the subject at the national level.
In Costa Rica, the National Dialogues that have already been held in June and July, as well as the Independent Dialogue: “Food Donation as an Opportunity Against Waste”, represent a valuable opportunity for people who are directly or indirectly linked in food systems, from production to consumption, share criteria on the current situation and propose desirable solutions to improve the performance of food systems in environmental, economic and social matters, for individual and collective benefit.
“It is important to map the actions and proposals to reduce food loss and waste (PDA), as this generates a great impact on the sustainability of agri-food systems; In addition, it reduces the local availability of food, causing losses in the income of national producers. It also affects the environment, health and nutrition of consumers, ”said Andrea Padilla, assistant representative of FAO programs in Costa Rica.
It is estimated that one third of the food produced globally ends up being lost or wasted along the supply chain; This is equivalent to approximately 1.3 billion tons of food that ends up in the garbage each year.
Food loss or waste occurs at every stage of the agri-food system: food is lost during the initial harvest due to low market prices, also due to high labor costs and demand for high-quality products. perfect; likewise, the demand tends to be overestimated, which generates the waste of these surpluses. Inefficient shopping and cooking practices on the part of consumers, along with difficulties in understanding labels with dates, also promote food waste.
If you wish to participate in this Independent Dialogue: “Food Donation as an Opportunity Against Waste”, which will be held tomorrow Wednesday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and be part of the transformation of the country’s food systems, you can write to the mail [email protected].